Its been a month since those life altering words were said that fateful day in July.
A rainy, stormy morning, much like today. The skies were grey and cloudy. My sister told me to hurry up and get online because she had a joke to send me, and the phone rang. She grumbled. I sighed. The phone was always interrupting us. On the other end, was a member of the church, asking if dad was there. He wasn’t. So he asked for mom. Something seemed off in his voice, and so I did what I usually don’t – I let him through to mom.
And then I set back to work trying to sign in online so my sister could send me her joke.
But something was different with the way mom was talking. Her voice was cracking. She covered her eyes – I thought something had happened to his wife, perhaps. My mind started filling in the blanks with my own ideas. I still couldn’t get signed in, and so I half jokingly told my sister, that in typical fashion, her and I would be exchanging jokes, laughing, in the midst of a tragedy.
It would be the last time we would joke before our lives, would forever be changed.
“Is someone with her” my mom asked the person on the other end of the phone, mentioning the name of a well known lady in our church. Amanda and I exchanged a glace. Something had happened to one of their kids, was the only thing that we could think of. The kids, that we had babysat. But what? And why.
We froze. Exchanged a few weary looks and put on joking telling on hold.
Mom hung up the phone.
“Josh Murdock died”
And our lives were changed.
Just like that.
Because with those three words, our lives were flipped upside down, and no words could come to mind. It wasn’t possible.
His name a lone held more than just a few meaningless feelings. His name, held the whole world of his family. His friends. His life. His love. His name – was not suppose to have the word “Dead” with it.
After screaming, and questioning, and reasoning everything possible…we called our pastor who was on vacation, and mom said those words again. Those three words, that hold so much more meaning that when just spoken.
And after debating for some time, we decided to go see his family.
We weren’t sure if we should, or shouldn’t. Would they want to be alone…perhaps, we reasoned…it was a cruel joke, maybe we would get there, and they wouldn’t even know.
So we left – drove the three minutes to their house, and upon walking up the stairs, his brother, pulled into the drive way, his face hanging, trying to walk with some purpose still. The inside of the house was quiet and still – normally bustling with energy from four young kids, and happiness and love from their family, we walked up the stairs, and saw the kids – huddled on the couch – crying. His wife. His family.
Its more than words can say. The pain was tangible, and tears weren’t something to be held back – they were – the only things that felt natural. Seeing his kids cry, his wife, their lives, torn apart.
Tears were not something to be withheld.
His dad – who just months prior, had lost his wife, holding onto the rail of the stairs for support.
Over the next few hours we would hear those words repeated, over and over and over. Each time holding more meaning. Those words, which never should have been uttered.
Those words, which one month ago, race through my mind.
And it wasn’t until I started to wonder why they were there, today – did I remember.
One month ago, we didn’t know how different life could be, without someone who we didn’t know was so important to not only his family, but us as well.
You don’t know how much you love someone, or how much love they have, until they arent there.
There is a missing chair in church, a missing life in his family. The emptiness in his kids is almost intolerable. The hole in his wifes heart is beyond words.
But they manage to hold on to God, and His promises, choosing instead to believe that He knew. And that He loves them still.
And today – its all just beyond words, how much I hurt for this family.
Today I just want to tell everyone – tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone. This man was a God fearing man who loved his family…and while I know he got the better end of the deal – that he is now in heaven in Gods presence – there are a lot of people out there who if died today – would not have the same privilege. Don’t delay. You don’t know if tomorrow will come.
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. – James 4:13-14
Man is like a breath; His days are like a passing shadow. – Psalm 144:4